Interesting Caregivers Story (Hey, whatever works!)

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One night a few years ago a woman who was the primary caregiver for her spouse, an Alzheimer’s sufferer, lost control in her kitchen. The fatigue, worry and stress of caregiving had finally taken their toll. She had reached her limit of answering her husband’s endless questions, corralling him when he wandered outside, trying to get other family members to pitch in, and not being able to get a decent night’s sleep.


Reaching into the dishwasher she selected a dinner plate in the blink of an eye she hurled it at the refrigerator. The dish exploded when it hit the stainless steel refrigerator door. She then chose a coffee cup to follow the dinner plate . . . and then a water glass . . . and then another dinner plate.

Afterwards she was appalled – not at having lost control or how many dishes she had broken – but at how good it made her feel. The next day she spread some old blankets behind a couple of cinder blocks in her garage, put on her husband’s safety glasses and started throwing and breaking dishes. It was her way of “dealing with the rage” as she put it.

A therapist might say the woman needed to work through her feelings so she wouldn’t feel the need to throw dishes or that she could work out at a gym to burn off the rage. The caregiver’s logic was that at this point in her life she didn’t have time to enter therapy or visit a health spa. And, she added, “as long as I’m not hurting myself or someone else I think it’s fine!” Now she stops at yard sales and buys boxes of old dishes for a few dollars to throw when she reaches that breaking point.